Looking Back, Moving Forward

Those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time know that I begin each new year with a verse and a word or theme for the year. My verse came to me in looking-back-moving_thumb.jpgNovember. In so many ways I was blown away by it. It fit. It was right. It was time. But first, last year God worked in my heart to destroy some idols that had deep roots. God showed me that “Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord ’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence” (Ps 24:6)

It was a hard year looking into the heart and seeing those things and people who had become more important that my relationship with God. But mostly I saw that my biggest idol was self and the need to control. So for the largest part of the year God had me study who He is. I mean what better way to destroy the idol of self then to see who God truly is. When we come face to face with the Holiness of His character we have no choice but to bow in humility and surrender all that we are.

So in November when God brought me to Is 61:7 my heart was deeply moved. Isaiah says “Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.

You see, my life verse is “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted ; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted , To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners ; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn…” (Is 61:1-2) So this verse spoke loudly. Not only because I had spent a year looking into the character of God and seeing my utter sinfulness and my enemy often tried to have a field day with pouring shame and humiliation upon my head but God had also used the study of His character to apply deeper balms of healing to my soul.

When God binds up the brokenhearted, frees the prisoner and brings good news to the afflicted we should shout for joy! Somehow I have lost the importance of joy, His joy. God has healed me of my sin, of my abuse, of my afflictions and so much more so instead of shame and humiliation there should be joy.

This is my journey for 2014, to find joy in all life’s circumstances. I was so moved by the fact that Everlasting Joy can be mine that I began a new blog titled Everlasting Joy. I believe this is the beginning of a new season. A season of finding joy in Christ alone. A season of finding joy in all of life’s circumstance because my joy is found in Him alone.

Thank you for joining me. I look forward to this walk with you. Eventually I will move Quiet Reflections over to Everlasting Joy, I think. For I am not sure I can keep up two blogs!

You will make known to me the path of life ; In Your presence is fullness of joy ; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Ps 16:11

 

Photo courtesy of  Stoonn at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Isolation and Forgetfulness

I have had a hard time being in the word over the last month due to the affects of a concussion. Between the headaches, dizziness, lack of focus and inability to read for any length of time, my time in the word has suffered. Due to the dizziness I was “stuck” at home unable to drive. I don’t think “man” was meant to be so alone, apart from community. Sounds and light bothered me so I didn’t go to church. I didn’t go anywhere.

courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net

courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net

For awhile the truth that I know was enough, but then the lies came. I didn’t call anyone or ask if they could come over for coffee and keep me company or help me speak truth. I didn’t share my need. I told myself even if I did call they were too busy anyway. Besides I wasn’t so sure I had the kind of friends that would drop everything just because I was feeling discouraged. It is true that my circle of close friends is very small, but the lie is that they wouldn’t be there if I needed them.

If I would have just asked them I am pretty sure they would be there for me. But then I hate that I need anyone. The lie I live with is that to need others, shows weakness. To need others only brings disappointment. Besides what if I did reach out and ask for help and they rejected me! Rejection, abandoned, forgotten and alone are my deepest fears. They are the weak spots in my heart. They are the areas that God continually, with grace and mercy, must remind me of truth.

So, last night as I drove to Church for the first time in a month I cried out to God begging to let me hear from Him. I cried out letting Him know I needed Him. I have been feeling frustrated, discouraged and very isolated. I felt alone and in so many ways I had lost my way out of the lies that my enemy was bombarding me with.

At that moment this thought came to my mind, “If it weren’t for Your Word Lord I would perish.” During the ministry of music I kept crying out to hear from God. Pastor Mathew brought a powerful message on repentance. He reminded me of my need to live daily with an attitude of repentance before a holy God. I can not do this life apart from Him. I am sinful, filled with weaknesses and fear. I need my Savior!

Then during the last worship song God spoke another reminder into my heart. We sang Word of God Speak by Mercy Me and the last part of the song goes like this, “All that I need is to be with You and in the quiet hear Your voice. Word of God speak would you pour down like rain washing my eyes to see your majesty. To be still and know that You’re in this place Please let me stay and rest in Your holiness.”

After finishing the song the words I heard earlier came to mind, ‘If it weren’t for Your Word Lord I would perish.” His Word is my life line, it’s the air I breathe. It is my comfort.

In my isolation I had forgotten that He is enough. His word is enough. I had began to pray for others to speak words of encouragement. I began to look to others to be there for me. I had forgotten that when we look to others they disappoint, they fail us.

God does use others to speak words of truth and encouragement. We do need brothers and sisters around us. But I had forgotten that first I need to go to Him. I need to allow His word to fill me, revive me and comfort me.

He speaks to His children through His word. I don’t always memorize the word the way I should but the phrase God brought to mind was based on this verse in Psalms. “If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction.” (119:92)

If it wasn’t for the word of God I would perish. I would be lost. Even if I had a thousand friends speaking truth, encouraging me, loving me, if I do not have His word then I would perish in my affliction.

Where are you today my friend? Is your heart longing for encouragement? Are you feeling alone, isolated or abandoned? His word is your comfort. His word will revive you. May I encourage you to read through Psalms 119?

Go to His word, let it speak to you.

“This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.” (Psalms 119:50)

Come to Jesus

I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.Psalms 40:1-5

Praise-06-782013_thumb.jpgOh Father I know that I have not always been patient in this process of healing. But you have heard my cries, and in your own time you have continued to work through the “all things” and set my feet on the Rock! You have helped me climb out of the pit, and you’ve dragged me out of the miry clay.

Jesus I praise you!

I worship Your name, for you have rescued those who are brokenhearted. You have healed the broken, the wounded and the hurting. I will trust in You and not fear. I will not give the enemy any more power over my thoughts. I will no longer believe his lies, for now I know truth. Oh God the works that you have performed in my heart are truly amazing. You’ve reached down, held me in your arms, healed my brokenness…nothing compares to Your healing touch!

I praise You with a new song!

My dear precious sisters Jesus can heal all your brokenness. He came to set you free from the bondage of your past hurts.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners. Is 61:1

He will rebuild that which was ruined. He will repair that which was broken. He will restore that which has been desolate for generations.

Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. (Is 61:4)

My precious sisters – Come to Jesus for healing….

Hope in the Midst of the Storm

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3

Trials, tribulations, suffering, pain, sorrow. These are circumstances no one especially considers a joy to walk through. Even if we know that it’s a time of testing our faith or building endurance who wants to face suffering? I don’t know too many who would raise their hands, jump up and down and shout, “I DO!”

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Yet the reality is it will come to each of us. Perhaps you find yourself in the midst of a storm today. Perhaps you feel that you are about to be drowned in your circumstances and you are wondering, “how am I suppose to consider it all joy”?

Today I saw something new in God’s word. Well it was new to me. I am reading through, and studying Romans and this morning I was struck by Romans 4:16 through 5:5. I must have read it ten times before I saw it, but there it was in 5:3, “we also exult in our tribulations,.”

Exult means to “show or feel elation or jubilation”. Seriously? Is it even possible to be jubilate over our tribulations? But how?

I believe our answer is seen in the surrounding verses, but I am still fleshing this out so walk with me through this. Romans 4 speaks of Abraham, his trial, his sorrow was that his wife was barren. But Abraham had hope. His hope came in the promise of God who promised that he would be the father of many nations. Abraham didn’t understand how God was going to do it since he and Sarah were old and beyond child bearing years. Abraham even tried taking matters into his own hands by producing an heir through Sarah’s servant, but that was not God’s plan. (see Gen 16 & 17)

So Abraham came to the point where he put His hope in God. Abraham’s faith grew to the point that he was “fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Rom 4:21)

Abrahams place of suffering, his sorrow grew his faith to where he could hope in what God would do. Abraham didn’t see the end results or even the next step and yet he could give God the glory because he had faith that the God who promised would also deliver that which He promised.

Abraham came to the place in his suffering where he could exult because he trusted in the One who would fulfill the promise.

So what about us? What do we hope in when the storm threatens to overwhelm us? Our hope is in our Lord Jesus Christ. We can exult in the hope of the glory of God knowing that He will deliver us through the storm. But in the mean time Christ will use the storm to build your endurance, and strengthen your character.

When we place our hope in Christ Jesus He will not disappoint. This same Jesus who died for us, while we were helpless sinners and His enemy, saving us from the wrath of God. This Jesus reconciled us to God and left us with the Holy Spirit who now pours out Gods love upon us so that we might have hope in the midst of suffering. (Rom 5:6-11)

So let us remember when we are facing trials to put our hope in the One who does not disappoint. Know that God will give you grace to stand, He will strength your faith, He will build your endurance and your character.

I know this is often easier said than done. When the waves wash over us and we are choking on the water about to go under for what feels like the last time and all we can think about is “I am going to die” it’s hard to have hope. But sweet sister can I encourage you to throw your hand out and cry out to Jesus. Stop thrashing around trying to save yourself. Stop trying to find a way out of the storm and just place your faith in the One who will not let you drown.

Whatever your storms might be I pray that you are able to reach out in unwavering faith and rest assured that the God who has promised to deliver you is also able to perform it.

Photo courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

God Heals the Darkness

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. Ps 119:50

Deep inside the heart of many women there is a darkness that lies untouched. There is a hurt that has been left unattended, praying it will heal on it’s own if ignored. It will not be ignored. Instead it lies within, waiting for the right moment and then the memories rises up from the depths of the darkness to hurt once more. I know this hurt for I have been there. I know other women experience it for they have shared their stories. They have trusted me with the darkness of their souls, the hurts that scream out MP900438388_thumb.jpgto be heard.

Healing began years ago for me, but it’s only been recently that I have fully understood where and how the healing came.

I spent years trying to ignore, forget, forgive and pray my way beyond the painful memories that would not stop playing across my mind. I would seek counsel, read books, attend Bible studies and pour myself into doing good works. I would do all the things I thought I should, be a good wife, mother, friend and church attendee. I would pray, read my Bible and pray some more. I tried pursuing so many things-even God-in order to forget. Often I was left feeling empty and in the end the hurt would still be screaming for attention. Why could I not have that personal loving relationship so many seemed to have? What did I have to do to silence the pain? What did God expect of me? Why wasn’t God answering my prayers to forget?

Your testimonies also are my delight; {They are} my counselors. My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Psalm 119: 24-25

The answer to my questions could be answered with just one answer. Know God. The problem was I didn’t really know Him. I knew about Him . I knew what others had told me about Him and I had even read about Him in the Bible, but I didn’t KNOW Him. I didn’t understand who He was or who He is. I didn’t know God experientially. I had only learned about God through others. I only thought I knew Him.

Healing came when I began to know God for myself. It began when I learned to study and understand God’s word for myself. Do you know what that meant? God spoke to me, Sharon, His beloved daughter. He spoke directly to me through His word and not through someone else.

God’s word began to come alive and every time I would read it I began to see something new. Truth began to penetrate my heart. The lies I believed about myself, my past and my God were exposed. God began to reveal Himself to me. He opened up my eyes to see His character, His love and His power. He began to show me who I was, and who I am because of Christ. He told me how precious I am to Him, how much He loves me and will always love me.

He began to help me see His plans and purposes for my life. God began to show me how He would use all the circumstances in my life for His glory. He would not waste anything. He wouldn’t waste anything good or evil. He could use my wrong choices, and the painful memories.

Oh precious sisters if I could ask one thing I would ask that you study God’s word and know it for yourself. Learn to study and allow God’s word to open up to you. Allow it to teach you, reprove you and heal you. Stop doing Bible studies that do all the work for you and study the Word for yourself.

It is only in knowing God that healing comes, and by know I mean you KNOW Him not just about Him. You need to know the God who is, the God of truth, not the God you think He is. Once we know God and study His words for ourselves then true deep healing comes. Oh how I long for each of you to experience the personal word of God spoken directly into your hearts.

If you don’t know how to study for yourself email me, I’d be happy to help! Or you can check out these links  A Guide to Inductive Bible Study or How to Study the Bible in 28 Days.

“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. Isa 43:10

A God That Heals

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. Ps 119:50

Deep inside the heart of many women there is an darkness that lies untouched. There is a hurt that has been left unattended. They have ignored it praying that it would heal on it’s own. It will not be ignored. Instead it lies deep within waiting for the right moment to rise up from the depths of the darkness to hurt once more.

I know this hurt for I have been there. I know other women have experienced it for they have shared their stories. They have trusted me with the darkness of their souls, the hurt that screams out to be heard.

Healing began years ago for me, but it’s only been recently that I have fully understood where and how the healing came.

I spent years trying to ignore, forget, forgive and pray my way beyond the pain of the memories that would not stop playing across my mind. I would seek counsel, read books, attend Bible studies and pour myself into doing good works. I would do all the things I thought I should, be a good wife, mother, friend and church attendee. I would pray, read my Bible and pray some more. I tried pursuing so many things in order to forget. Often I was left feeling empty and in the end the hurt would still be screaming for attention.

Your testimonies also are my delight; {They are} my counselors. My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Ps 19: 24-25

What did I have to do to silence the pain? What did God expect of me? Why wasn’t God answering my prayers to forget?

The answer to my questions could be answered with just two words. Know God. The problem was I didn’t really know God. I knew about God. I knew what others had told me about Him and I had even read about Him in the Bible, but I didn’t know Him. I didn’t understand who He was or who He is. I didn’t know God experientially. I had only learned about God through others.

Healing came when I began to know God for myself. It began when I began to study and understand God’s word for myself. Do you know what that meant? God spoke to me, Sharon, His beloved daughter. He spoke directly to me through His word and not through someone else.

God’s word began to come alive and every time I would read it I began to see something new. Truth began to penetrate my heart. The lies I believed about myself, my past and my God were exposed. God began to reveal Himself to me. He opened up my eyes to see His character, His love and His power. He began to show me who I was,  and who I am because of Christ. He told me how precious I am to Him, how much He loves me and will always love me.

He began to help me see His plans and purposes for my life.  God began to show me how He would use all the  circumstances in my life for His glory. He would not waste anything. He wouldn’t waste anything good or evil. He could use my wrong choices, and the painful memories.

Oh precious sisters if I could ask one thing I would ask that you study God’s word and know it for yourself. Learn to study and allow God’s word to open up to you. Allow it to teach you, reproof you and heal you. Stop doing Bible studies that do all the work for you and study the Word for yourself.

It is only in knowing God that healing comes, and by know I mean you KNOW Him not just about Him. Once we know God and study His words for ourselves then true deep healing comes. Oh how I long for each of you to experience the personal word of God spoken directly into your hearts through His word.

If you don’t know how to study for yourself email me, I’d be happy to help! Or you can check out this places. Precept. or Inductive Study Method.

 

“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. Isa 43:10